This is one of several stories involving Freedom-Striker and Liberator before they became regular characters in the Villains RPG universe - please leave comments below if you would like me to add other stories involving the two in the future.
Freedom-Striker is driving himself half-mad tracking down the many hosts of The Unborn and Liberator is doing the same thing trying to deal "justice" in the world - eventually the two decide a vacation is in order and decide to head off to a ski-resort: yet even on vacation the two can't seem to get past their obsessions with Striker seeing The Unborn's influence at every doorstep and Liberator seeing potential crime at every turn.
Yet when young couples start being found brutally murdered by what appears to be a mythical Wild-Man the dynamic duo's fears may prove to be more than just paranoia after all..
FREEDOM-STRIKER / LIBERATOR: VACATION
The scene begins in a snowy mountainside with a young couple on a ski-lift: they are both happy and smiling - descending from the mountain after a day of skiing.
Woman (leaning into her boyfriend): That was great Ben, we should do this more often..
Man (grinning): Yeah, kinda cold though..
Woman (smiling): Well I know ways we could keep warm.."
Suddenly the couple's flirting halts as the woman screams, something large and beast-like flies through the air - the scene switches to the couple, crying out before the creature collides with the ski-lift: sending it crashing to the ground below with a monstrous howl and a slashing of claws..
Next scene begins in an alleyway in New York city with a costumed man standing over a dumpster, tossing an unconcious and unidentified male into it.
Freedom-Striker: ..and next time you feel like beating on some kids remember this: I'll be watching.. (slams the dumpster lid shut)
The figure, now clearly identified as Freedom-Striker, leaps onto the rooftops and begins to make his way across the urban jungle - his eyes glow red as he uses infra-red vision to aid him, the sun having long set and the city lights below weren't always enough: besides he took care to keep to the shadows as much as possible.
Freedom-Striker (thinking): what time is it? 2am? 3?..hmm.. I really should sleep.. then again that's what they want me to do.. -he leaps down from the rooftops and heads down another alleyway- ..they're smart, so I just need to be smarter.. they want me to sleep.. -suddenly Freedom-Striker freezes in place as floodlights flood down on him-
Liberator: STRIKER! where the ***** have you been? it's 5 in the morning!
Freedom-Striker blinks, still thinking - 5am? wow.. a new record.
Liberator: Striker?! are you even listening to me?! -the power-suit welding heroine lands on the ground, switching off her floodlights-
Freedom-Striker: ..uh? oh! of course I am! I just.. I..
Liberator (crossing her arms): come on, you maybe some big shot hero but I still make the rules around here and I say its time for bed
Freedom-Striker (smirking): what are you, my mother?
Liberator (smirking back): worse.. I'm your girlfriend..
The Scene opens to Striker, now out of costume, laying in bed - rather disheaveled looking and clearly suffering from lack of sleep and stress.
Freedom-Striker: ..ugh, my head..
Liberator (also no longer in disguise and carrying breakfast): I shouldn't be making you this since this is all your fault but what can I say, your pathetic..
Freedom-Striker (sitting up): ..you sure know how to make a guy feel wanted
Liberator (sitting on the bed and smirking): your lucky I even bothered looking for you: since when did you start dumping guys in dumpsters at 5 in the morning? we don't get paid overtime you know.."
Freedom-Striker (sighing): he was one of them.. I think..
Liberator (raising an eyebrow): ..them? oh Striker, not this again.. we've been through this..
Freedom-Striker (snapping, knocking the breakfast over): GODDAMNIT I'M NOT CRAZY!
Liberator falls off the bed and looks to Striker, slightly scared - Striker notices and suddenly calms again - getting out of the bed and holding his head.
Freedom-Striker: ..I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..
Liberator (getting up to reach over to Striker, stroking his cheek): I know baby, I know.. look these people have been driving us both nuts but you gotta understand: this whole Unborn stuff - it's a bunch of ****, may as well say Martians exist.."
Freedom-Striker: Martians *do* exist..
Liberator (sighing): you know what I mean damnit..
Freedom-Striker sits back down on the bed with Liberator, the two holding hands
Freedom-Striker: I know what you mean.. maybe your right.. this stuff is driving me crazy..
Liberator: you and me both, we need a vacation.."
Freedom-Striker: hmm.. not a bad idea..
Liberator (surprised): ..what?
Freedom-Striker (grinning): pack your bags, we're going on vacation!"
The scene changes to a ski-resort in an undisclosed area atop a tall mountain filled with snow, young couples are swarming around while Liberator and Freedom-Striker (both in civilian attire) walk somewhat uncomfortably around the crowds.
Liberator: ..skiing? are you serious? your idea of a vacation is climbing a mountain and endangering your life.. for fun?
Freedom-Striker: Hey your the one who said we needed a vacation..
Liberator: I meant a weekend in the woods or something, you know camping..
Freedom-Striker: come on Phoenix, you know you love skiing really.. you just like complaining..
Liberator: I do not!
Suddenly the two are barged into by a smug blonde-haired man and his girlfriend
Man: watch where your going punk!
The rude couple wander off and focus shifts to Liberator's fist - clenching up
Liberator (muttering): someone ought to put them in there place..
Freedom-Striker (taking her hand): easy tiger, your off-duty remember?
Liberator (frowning but accepting): maybe.. but I still think we should of knocked them out
Freedom-Striker (helping Liberator onto a ski-lift): really? why not just shoot them..
Liberator: I don't wanna kill them..
Freedom-Striker (sitting down): but you could you know.. easily, one punch and ker-splat! their smug skulls cave in..
Liberator (as ski-lift starts to rise): that's horrible..
Freedom-Striker: not really Phoenix, that's the inevitable outcome of the lives we lead: what was it some guy said - you hunt monsters eventually you become them..
Liberator (sighing): ..okay, you win Strike..
Liberator: oh come off it, you were giving me a moral lesson..
Freedom-Striker (smiling): maybe, truth is Phoenix I meant what I said - we could kill anyone if we put our minds to it: at any time and any place.. we could bring about armageddon with a click of our fingers - just cause we wanted to..
Liberator: I get it.. restraint..
Freedom-Striker: no, no.. restraint isn't the problem - all I'm saying is we have bigger things to deal with.. bigger enemies to fight..
Liberator (looking down at the ground below for a few moments before responding): ..one heck of a vacation we're having eh?
The next scene opens to Liberator and Freedom-Striker skiing down the mountainside, they are surprising good at it as well with the couple playfully forming a few acrobatic moves - much to the surprise of several on lookers: their display ending when the two skid to a halt at the bottom of the mountain.
Liberator (removing her helmet): hehe.. that was fun, you did pretty well - for a guy..
Freedom-Striker (smirking): What can I say? I had a good teacher..
Liberator smiles and the two share a friendly kiss before a monstrous howl fills the air and the crowds start panicking
Liberator (turning): what the ****?
Freedom-Striker (moving towards the sound): come on!
The duo make there way to an area of snow not too far away - what they find is a gruesome sight: the rude couple they had bumped into lay dead on the ground - horribly mangled as if mauled by a wild animal, large footprints in the snow lead off to the wilderness surrounding the resort
Liberator: my god.. Strike.. who did this?
Freedom-Striker (kneeling down and examing the tracks): not who.. what..
Liberator: huh? Strike, are you..?
Freedom-Striker (turning to Liberator): Phoenix, we're not dealing with a human or a mutant.. -he pauses for a moment before he continues- .we're dealing with a yeti.."
The scene opens to the resort as the area is sanctioned off as a crime scene and varied officers move around - both Freedom-Striker and Liberator (still in civilian attire) keep their distance from the crowds as they converse over the recent developments.
Liberator: come of it Striker, a yeti? that's ***** - those things only exist in fairytales..
Freedom-Striker: you saw those tracks Pheonix, not to mention the bodies - those people weren't murdered: they were butchered..
Liberator: I worked as a soldier for years Strike, I assure you that it doesn't take mythical monkeys to do stuff like that - it could of been a mutant..
Freedom-Striker: the howl says otherwise.. I've heard it before - in the woods.. I used to think it was my imagination, that was until Agent Red told me about the Wild-Men, how he fought one in Nepal..
Liberator: please.. Agent Red is almost as big a conspiracy nut as you are Striker.. and a lousy liar too - Nepal? what? he fought the Abominable Snowman - next you believe in sea-serpents because Proud claims to have seen the Loch Ness monster..
Freedom-Striker: of course not.. the Loch Ness monster was a dragon - sea-serpents don't exist: that'd be silly.
Liberator (frowning): ..I.. ugh.. forget it, let's just go home..
Freedom-Striker: good luck with that, this whole place is a crime-scene.. and I don't do well with cops..
Liberator: great.. what could possibly make this vacation any worse?
Suddenly the scene sparks to life as several officers open fire on a large creature that has suddenly charged into resort, it knocks them aside and leaps right at Liberator and Freedom-Striker - it is fur-covered, white and pretty much exactly what Striker claimed it was.. a yeti: the duo look understandibly confused and frightened as the creature hurls towards them, ready to strike..
Liberator (gasping): Oh for the love of -!
Freedom-Striker and Liberator both leap out of the way as the yeti lands, snarling as it takes several swipes at them with its razor-sharp fangs and roars again - its large beard swaying madly as it leaps at Freedom-Striker and knocks him to the ground
Freedom-Striker (slamming to ground): ..ugh!
Liberator (running): Striker!
Liberator leaps onto the yeti and tugs at its fur, the monster arcs up and roars in rage as it swats her off - causing her to roll for a few moments as she breathes hard: the monster being extremely strong - before she can recover it makes to stomp on her with great force
Freedom-Striker (recovering): no!
Freedom-Striker uses his agility to leap quickly to his feet and sweep the yeti off its feet, making the monster crash backwards - he instinctively rushes over to Liberator
Freedom-Striker (holding Liberator): Phoenix?!
Liberator (shaking herself out of mild shock): I-I'm okay.. Strike.. focus on the-!
Liberator can't finish her sentence before Freedom-Striker lets out a cry of pain, the yeti having leapt up and slashed his back with its claws - leaving four large cuts in the process: Freedom-Striker grits his teeth and leaps at the monster despite the pain and the two engage in a battle, while Liberator digs into her pocket
Liberator (thinking): come on.. come on.. their in here somewhere..
Freedom-Striker continues fighting the yeti when Liberator gets up and tosses the metal-orb towards them
Liberator (yelling): Striker! heads up!
Freedom-Striker barely has time to duck for cover before the metal-orb hits the yeti - exploding in a cloud of gas, the monster swats at the air and lets out another roar before it thunders off back to the wilderness it came from - leaving a path of mayhem in its wake.
Liberator (falling to her knees): ..goddmanit.. Strike.. you okay?
Freedom-Striker (holding his chest): I'll be alright Phoenix.. I.. I just don't get it.. why did that thing attack? Why here? why now? ..ugh.. (he falls to the ground, the pain in his back too much)
Liberator (getting up): I dunno baby, but what I do know is we need to get out of here.. come on..
Suddenly the sound of weapons being loaded is heard as a group of soldiers surround the duo
Soldier: you won't be going anywhere ma'm.. not until we get answers..
Liberator: who the **** are you clowns?
Soldier: we're answering a distress call from law-enforcers.. said some monster was tearing the place apart.. well way I see it they didn't count: cause I see two..
Liberator (frowning): you've got to be kidding me, look.. we're hurt - their is a monster out there and you guys-!
Liberator is once again interrupted as a loud howl fills the air - making everyone look around in surprise
Freedom-Striker (muttering): no..it can't be..this isn't right..this isn't..
Suddenly the scene once again sparks to life as the yeti returns - this time welding a broken tree-branch, which it hurls at the soldiers before leaping at them, despite the gunfire the beast easily dispatches the entire squad before it turns back to the duo, snarling
Liberator (seeing the soldiers die): no! no! NO!
Liberator goes into a rage and flies at the yeti - attacking the monster with great force but she's careless and it swats her away.
Freedom-Striker (yelling): Hey ugly! over here! come on! (he struggles to get up despite his injury) ..you wanna fight? fight me damnit!
The yeti growls as it turns towards Striker again - Liberator frowns and looks at the nearby mountain, she digs into a pocket again as the monster starts to head back towards Freedom-Striker.
Liberator (pulling out another metal-orb): time for you to.. DIE!
Liberator hurls the metal-orb as far as she can into the snow and it explodes with great force - causing an avalanche to come crashing down from the mountain below.. the yeti and both heroes are caught in its path and in the end the entire scene is swept over by a thick blanket of snow.
The scene opens to nothing but snow, the avalanche having covered the entire area - for a few moments the place is eerily calm before a fist punches through the snow, Liberator drags herself out of the snow and coughs, trying to get her breath back: a few moments later another hand appears out of the snow and she scrambles over to it.
Liberator (tugging): Striker.. it's okay baby! just hang in there!
Freedom-Striker (coughing as he's tugged to safety): ..ugh..
The duo lay on the ground, exhausted and battered.
Liberator: ..think it's dead?
Freedom-Striker: ..I hope so..
Liberator: ..those soldiers.. I.. it happened again Strike.. I..
Freedom-Striker: it's okay Phoenix.. it's okay..
Liberator (shedding a tear): ..I won't let you die.. I swear.. I won't..
The two pass out in the snow, for a few moments they are alone then a shaggy figure slowly appears - proceeding to lift them both and carry them away into the wilderness.. leaving behind large foot-prints in its wake..
Then for a good few minutes the scene goes silent again before a large, fur-covered fist smashes up from beneath the snow..
The scene opens to Freedom-Striker and Liberator laying in a cave, the duo wake to find themselves wrapped in animal-furs and their wound mysteriously bandaged
Liberator: what the-? Strike?
Freedom-Striker (sitting up): shh.. look..
Freedom-Striker points to another resident of the cave, it resembles the yeti that attacked them but had no beard and was smaller - it also seemed to be far more gentle as it tended to a fire, or rather a fire it was clearly having trouble starting in the first place
Liberator: think it's dangerous?
Freedom-Striker: I think this thing saved our lives..
Liberator: ..why? it was trying to kill us back there..
Freedom-Striker: come on Phoenix, this isn't the same yeti.. I think we should at least try and communicate..
Liberator: ..I give up.. this is *****ed up.. go ahead..
Freedom-Striker (cautiously calling over to the Wild-Man): hey.. fuzzy.. listen.. uh.. we appreciate the help and all but maybe you can explain why your friend was trying to kill us?
The Wild-Man turns to the duo and tilts its head - its fur is slightly darker than the other yeti but not as thick and its eyes are deep blue.
Wild-Man (showing scars on its arm): me no friend of other kin.. other kin hurt me..
Liberator (blinking): oh great.. it talks..
Freedom-Striker: quiet Phoenix.. so.. the other one? it's bad?
Wild-Man: we no bad or good, we not like people - other kin just angry.. when he get angry he kill.. and kill.. and kill..
Liberator (frowning): sounds bad to me..
Freedom-Striker: hmm.. okay, I get it.. but what made him so mad? what did we do to him?
Wild-Man: you lock him in cage, take his blood.. now he take your blood.. me try to tell him we not like people.. then he hurt me..
Liberator: blood? they took his blood?
Freedom-Striker (narrowing his eyes): I think I get what's happening here.. someone was experimenting on this wild-man.. but they must of been real lousy scientists cause he got loose.. an eye for an eye.. blood for blood..
Liberator: well, he's dead now.. so that's that..
Wild-Man: he not dead..
Freedom-Striker: how do you-?
Suddenly a loud howl is heard from outside, still a fair distance away but enough to echo through the cave
Wild-Man: me smell him.. he coming.. and he angry..
Freedom-Striker and Liberator get up, they are still weak and not ready for a fight despite the sound of the yeti getting closer
Wild-Man: you go.. me stop him..
Freedom-Striker: ..you? but why?
Wild-Man: me not want people to die anymore.. me no want to hide..
Liberator: ..then we're staying too..
Wild-Man: you risk lives.. you no run.. you not like other humans..
Freedom-Striker: tell us about it..
They discussion is cut short as the large yeti enters the cave, shaking snow off his form as he roars again - hitting his chest much like an enraged gorrilla and snarling
Wild-Man (blocking the way): no.. you not welcome.. you leave..
The large yeti responds by leaping at the other wild-man and slashing it fiercely with his claws, the wild-man falls down and the larger male beats his chest again in a display of power: until he is distracted as a rock is tossed at his head.
Freedom-Striker: hey furball! remember us?!
The large yeti narrows his eyes and snarls again - uttering his first word
The yeti leaps at Striker but is knocked aside as the other wild-man charges at him, the two battle each other but the larger yeti quickly gains the upper-hand.
Yeti: Why? why you help humans?
Wild-Man: ..because we not like you, we not hurt, we not kill, we just want to live..
Yeti (growling): you weak, you stupid.. me kill you!
Suddenly a gunshot rings through the cave as Liberator pulls out a small pistol from one of her boots, the laser burns a scar in the Yeti's arm and he roars - tossing the other wild-man into Striker as he rushes at Liberator: she takes aim and narrows her eyes.
Liberator: see you in hell, you filthy son of a **** (she opens fire - blasting into the yeti's chest and he falls down dead on the floor mere inches from where she sits)
Freedom-Striker: you know, you could of used that back in the resort..
Liberator: I was distracted, okay?
Freedom-Striker just shakes his head and looks to the wild-man that aided them
Freedom-Striker: are you alright?
Wild-Man: ..me live.. you go now..
Freedom-Striker: come with us..
Wild-Man (looking to the yeti's corpse): me had enough killing.. me want to be alone..
Freedom-Striker (nodding): ..I understand
The next scene opens to Freedom-Striker and Liberator driving down a road leading from the resort - the two are still in civilian attire and injured but are recovering well thanks to the aid of the wild-man in the cave
Liberator: ..you think she'll find peace now?
Freedom-Striker: what makes you think it was a she?
Liberator: I dunno.. I just think that.. still, you think it'll be safe?
Freedom-Striker: hard to say really Phoenix, I hope so.. we owe that wild-man our lives - at least we got rid of the main problem..
Liberator: I'm not so sure we did..
Freedom-Striker: come again..?
Liberator: sure, we slayed the monster and saved the day but let's face it Strike - a lot of people got killed, including officers of the law - countless lives are in ruin.. and somewhere out there someone is responsible for all this..
Freedom-Striker (thinking): ..someone.. or something..
Liberator: ..and you need to ask yourself, why? why would scientists be experimenting on wild-men? I mean I would never of believed any of this unless I saw it with my own eyes.. so how'd they know? I mean they couldn't of just randomly caught the thing - someone knew these things existed and was intent on finding something..
Freedom-Striker: but what?
Liberator: I don't know.. that's what's bugging me..
Freedom-Striker: hmm.. we'll find out Phoenix.. we'll find out..
Liberator (thinking): yeah, that's what I'm afraid off..
The scene shifts to a large underground bunker with a round black table, eight figures sit in darkness - each one resting on what appear to be executive-style chairs: next to each figure is a v-net feed showing a particular superhuman battle - some on display show Blight fighting Omega-Skull and Agent Red fighting Adam Man while another shows Freedom-Striker and Liberator in their previous battle with the yeti.
The figures, all concealed by shadow, then speak with each member beginning as the other finishes, as if finishing each others sentences:
Figure #1: they have fought well but they have also stumbled across our little secret..
Figure #2: this was inevitable and it matters not..
Figure #3: indeed, let the knowledge eat away at them - let them struggle to understand..
Figure #4: we have no time for such games
Figure #5: we always have time for games..
Figure #6: enough - have we reached a decision?
Figure #7: yes.. we have decided:
Figure #8: we shall have to act..